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Answered 2013-05-24 20:34:43

it helped canada by

The Canadian Pacific Railroad was built to join Canada's populated cities to the potential of the unpopulated west. Their goal was to unite Canadians on one coast to the other coast. When Canada became a country on July 1st, 1867, the first four provinces were Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec. For Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to sign the deal, they were promised a railroad to connect them with Ontario and Quebec. Manitoba Joined the confederation in 1870 and British Columbia joined in 1871. They were promised a railroad to connect them with the east within ten years. The pressure was on to build the railroad that they promised to the provinces. The CPR (Canadian Pacific Railroad) was established February 16th, 1881, with George Stephens as the company's first president. The 1881 season was horrible, with only 211km of track made. Several employees were fired. William Cornelius Van Horne was then hired to be the general manager. Van Horne bragged he would build 800km of railroad of main line. Floods delayed the season of 1882, but they still built 673km of main line. On November 7th, 1885 the east and the west joined and in Craigellachie, British Columbia, with the last spike driven by Donald A. Smith. The cost of construction almost made the CPR go bankrupt, but they pulled through it. By 1889, CPR had related business in railroad, and unrelated. They built telegraph lines alongside the railroad tracks and transmitted the first signal in 1882. In 1883 CPR made their own steam locomotives, and passenger cars. CPR had steamships on the Great Lakes in 1883 also. CPR also found natural gas, by accident though, while digging a well for their steamships. They used the gas to power their station. Canadian people involved with the building of the railroad are George Stephen (president of CPR until 1888), Andrew Onderdonk, (Supervised the construction in BC) 1881, January 1st, 1882, William Van Horne was made 1st general manager of the CPR.

May 2nd, 1881, CPR began construction of the prairie section of track at Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. On February 14th, 1881, the contract to build CPR got royal assent. July 26th, 1881, CPR was completed as far as Winnipeg. August 20th, 1882 the first train arrived in Regina. November 5th, 1884, the B.C. portion of the railroad was finished to Golden City. January 24th, 1885, the CPR telegraph was finished from the pacific to the Atlantic. November 2nd, 1885, the first passenger train left Montreal to Winnipeg. November 7th, 1885, the last spike was driven by Donald Smith at Craigellachie. The final completed Railway wax 4,653 km long from Montreal, to Port Moody B.C. December 12th, 1885, the first CPR freight train left Portage La Prairie, to Montreal, with Manitoba wheat. January 23rd, 1886, the first train entered Vancouver.

The Chinese Workers. More than 15,000 Chinese workers were used for the railroad building. Approximately all the workers were men, the work was hard and dangerous, many died. Rock falls, dynamite explosions, winter weather, and summer heat took many lives, but the work continued. The Chinese workers were paid one dollar a day, and with that money they still had to pay for food and camping gear. With the Chinese getting paid less, they also got the most back breaking work and the most dangerous work. They did Dangerous work like blasting dynamite, building tunnels, and long hard days. There was also no proper medical care so many Chinese people depended on their own skill of medical care. The workers lived in camps, and slept in either tents or box cars. They mainly ate a diet of rice and dried salmon with tea to drink. With the money they made many could not afford fruits or vegetables, so many died of scurvy. When they had to move to the next camp, they had to hike over 40 kilometers.

The building of the railroad changed the identity of Canada by connecting the east of the country to the west. It made travel more easily to move passengers and freight. This showed that Canada was growing as a country.

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